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In an ideal world, all subjects would be equal 

By Rachna Pant,

All subjects deserve the same attention and respect, but their popularity is entirely market-driven.

Media should write about non-mainstream subjects to make them appear both appealing and lucrative, writes Rachna Pant.

There is a fine line between all subjects being equal and being perceived as equal, or the likelihood of them generating equal opportunities. We might pitch for calling them equal, but we can’t ensure a perception till market driven forces point that way.  

It will serve the society well if a way was found to provide succour and support to non-main-stream subjects. We need to make some noise. Media should write about them, make them appear both appealing and lucrative. The internet has done yeoman’s service to the cause of these subjects which live in the shadow of the money-spinning ones, yet a constant spotlight on them might change the future dynamics. 

You could ask whether you consider them as equal and as a sub-part add, if they were perceived as equal and if the route to success is identical in pursuit of any of the subjects. It’s a facile statement without having any thoughts poured into it. It would be wrong of me to take a high moral ground and mouth niceties like,” every discipline has scope or follow your heart etcetera. The hard reality is that, professions which you don’t have the ability to translate themselves into hard cash are viewed coldly. They are, at best, the playfields of the rich, to the chagrin of the ordinary mortals who need to eke out a livelihood. 

 If your song and dance cannot fetch money, then there is no need to make a song and dance about them. It can best be enjoyed at leisure while you sweat and toil, may be as an Accountant or an Engineer, folded over a spreadsheet. Many a subject has been sacrificed at the altar of ambition and need for succour. I definitely think all subjects deserve the same attention and respect, but their popularity is entirely market-driven. 

Only in the movies like 3 Idiots, can one make a career in wildlife photography. I would not follow the dotted line by saying that all are equal. I would add a rider and a qualifying statement to it, that it is subject to market risks. There is a killer competition for MBA institutes or certain courses or colleges. This doesn’t mean that people vying for them are fools whose higher sensibilities are not awakened and have no heightened sense of individuality. Rather, I would credit them with pragmatism and a liberal dose of intelligence unclouded by unrealistic dream which have a strong likelihood of remaining unfulfilled. 

Definitely, in an ideal world, all subjects would be equal, but even Utopia needs people to run it on oils and lubricants of common sense, practicality coupled with a passion and drive. Dreamers might self-actualise, but the chances are one in a million and I don’t believe in waiting for miracles. 

Rachna Pant is the Director, Ramjas School, Delhi. Views expressed are personal. 

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